Treasure Chest Thursday: Penny’s Charm Bracelet

The summer before my mother passed away, she brought me a large bag of her jewelry. Among other things, I found this charm bracelet. I remember my mother used to wear charm bracelets when I was little. She had three different ones and she wore them with great pride to work and church. As I got older, and she quite working, she didn’t wear the bracelets as much. ¬†Although the memory of her wearing bracelets has stuck with me, I don’t know the stories behind each charm. She passed away before I could ask her. I challenge you to photograph the charm bracelets in your collections and identify what the different pieces mean. Having a photo is wonderful. Recording the memories is better.

Family Heirloom Charm Bracelet
Charm Bracelet
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
f/5, exp 1/6 sec, bias +0.7, ISO 80
Focal length: 18 mm ; Center Weight Average metering

I really love photographing in a light box. Makes the challenge of photographing objects at the ‘right’ time for natural light become a non-issue. For a home educating mother, I don’t always have time to photograph when the sun decides it’s ready to provide the ‘right’ light.

I’ve decided that I don’t like to photograph jewelry on cardboard. I like jewelry to be on a material. I could iron out the material if I wanted to be persnickety. But, a little wrinkle in time never hurt anyone. (Okay, bad pun, but you get the idea).

Family Memorabilia Charm Bracelet
Charm Bracelet: Charms Turned
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
f/5, exp 1/6 sec, bias +0.7, ISO 80
Focal length: 18 mm ; Center Weight Average metering

When you work with charm bracelets, pay attention to details. I changed the orientation of one charm and I think it improved the quality of the photo. I don’t know that you’ll be able to see every charm as clearly as you’d like. But you can see most of them well enough to know what they depict. Play around with the charms and their orientation until you have something that works.

Family History Charm Bracelet
Brightened with Photo Editor

This last photo shows you the power of editing your photos. Ideally, you’ll want to do as much as you can with your camera to have a great photo. Then, all you have to do is a mild tweak and you’re set (if you even have to do that). In PhotoShop Elements, I duplicated the image and screened the duplicated image on top of the lower image at about 80%. 100% screen gave the bracelet a washed out look. 80% brightened up the photo and the background and took away the dullness.

If you think your photo needs a pop, consider using blending modes on your camera and see what punch you can give them. Have fun photographing your heirloom charm bracelets. I have a few more examples of mom’s bracelets in the coming weeks.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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